I need to mention that I've had some technological problems that have nearly prevented me from posting. First, it seems that my Dell PC, does not care for blogspot.com, the site I use to do my postings. It will not allow me to post and often will not allow me to connect. So, I've been using my laptop for posting and have had no problems...until 3 nights ago, when it irrevocably crashed. It was over 7 years old, which means it automatically qualifies for the Smithsonian as an antique relic. I ordered a new one, which should arrive soon...meanwhile, thank you Ami Bunch, who has helped teach me a lot of the tricks, like putting a photo directly into my post. I've been emailing her, so she can cut, paste and post (using her laptop, as her PC does not like the .com either - she also has a beautiful blog about her triplets and family) and she has made sure my Kimmy stories are getting posted until my new laptop arrives!
One of our favorite places to visit, over the years, has certainly been the Desert Museum. Situated about 1,000 miles out in the middle of nowhere, roughly west of Tucson, it offers a lot of rare, desert beauty and is a historical landmark. The drive out there, alone, is so spectacular...once Speedway ends and Gates Pass begins, twisting through the Tucson Mountains...and when you turn that final corner, BAM! your breath is taken away by the stunning view - a sheer drop-off, framed in the background with another peak and saguaros galore! The road lazily twists back down the mountain pass and then several more twisty miles until you get to the museum.
Kim and I first visited the Desert Museum on a trip here back in 1989 and fell in love with it. The museum offers a huge variety of plants and animal life, making it zoo-like, but in a very natural setting, so as not to feel institutionalized. When we first visited, they even had large cats, like jaguars. When we moved here in 1994, one of the first things we did was become members, making frequent excursions to the museum. Sometimes we'd pack a lunch, pull off somewhere in the desert, hike a little ways and eat together.
When we had the bambini's, it seemed natural to continue our membership and visit often. You would think they would grow tired of visiting, but each time, they would get so excited and participate in a new activity or learn something new. Kim especially loved to take the family out their on Saturdays during the summer, as they would stay open until 10 p.m. and have a lot of fun things for the kids to do, like look at constellations and planets through telescopes, find scorpions with black light flashlights (Kim made sure each kid had one and we found a lot!). They used to have story time at night, hosted by a Native American, who told great legends, like how the heavens got their stars.
As members, we enjoyed free ice tea and coffee - Kim loved to get that at the lower snack bar, near the otters, so we could get the kids an ice cream, a ritual that got me in a little trouble on Cody's 3rd grade field trip there when I bought my whole group ice creams...sorry Mrs. Sutterly! We would get our ice creams and eat together on a bench before going to check out the otters, Kim's favorite exhibit. Then, we'd make sure the kids all got to play on their favorite exhibits. They have one called 'life on the rocks' that has a little secret passageway for the kids to climb through. Again, they've done these things over and over, but never got tired of it. Cody did a fantastic report on the history of the museum in 5th grade. We have known one of the ladies who works at the desk, Yolanda, for at least 15 years, and she was able to get Cody interviews with long time employees and hand outs for his whole class. She always enjoyed seeing our family and Kim and her would talk about their children before and after our visit. Yolanda once helped us jump start our car when our battery died one time years ago...during a raging monsoon, complete with wicked lightning strikes.
The museum also became a destination for special occasions...we visited on our anniversary, more than once, eating in one of the restaurants after walking the grounds. Also, we all spent a birthday there at least one time. And, we ate pancake breakfasts on Mother's Day and Father's Day there, as well. The kids loved sitting on one of the outside terraces, so they could attract birds and feed them, something Kim always loved to do when we were at the beach, too.
We've watched the museum grow, over the years, too. Adding new exhibits, like the desert trail that features javelinas and coyotes. Kim really loved the new amphitheater, where they would hold animal shows and allow birds to fly out and over the audience. 17 years of great memories there...
Well, back in the 'hood, we sure had some excitement today, not the good kind, but it all worked out. Around 4ish, our neighbor Brian, ended up in the ER at Tucson Medical Center, with what turned out to be a bad appendix. It was about this time that Kimmy took a ride to the ER, but at St. Joe's. His surgeon, was Dr. Atkinson (Ed Norton), the same Dr. who removed Kimmy's gall bladder. When I told the kids what was going on, little Antonio piped up "Daddy, I sure hope they don’t find anything else bad inside of Brian"...and we prayed for Brian together. Well, he made out just fine and is recovering nicely.
Cody and I worked together to replace our irrigation valves, which had been placed underground and became overwhelmed by roots from our lemon tree and fig tree. It was nice working with him. He is a hard worker and we were able to have some good conversation. Then, we had some awesome chicken and rice (thanks Andrea!!) and settled in to watch a movie together - Night at the Museum 2 - worth a watch! When it ended, around 9, we all went out to say goodnight to Mama. Did anyone see that sky tonight? I cannot describe the beauty of the swirling, celestial clouds and the shape they formed - it was absolutely incredible. We looked for the Big Dipper, but did not see it tonight...and then we all wished Mama a good night, together.
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." (Job 12:7-10)